Bandana Paul to Boni: Gender change, torture and finally recognition through film

Bandana finally changed her gender. She became "he" from "her". He had changed his name also from Bandana Paul to Bani Paul.

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Kolkata, Nov 4: She was once a regular member of the Indian women's football team in the 1990s. She has represented senior national side several times. She was the footballer who also guided Bengal many times to win the Santosh Trophy by scoring all-important goals.

Still Bandana Paul had to struggle for earning. She did not get a job. Living in a place, around 30 kilometres far from Kolkata, named Gobordanga, she was in dire financial distress.

Bandana Paul to Bani: Gender change, torture and finally recognition through film

She had the only way of earning that was to construct the image of Durga. And before the Puja festival she became busy in constructing Durga image and earned worthy amount of money.

Bandana finally changed her gender. She became "he" from "her". He had changed his name also from Bandana Paul to Boni Paul. Even she married and started living in the same place since 2005.

But his surroundings did not accept his transformation and forced him to the corner by torturing him and his wife in different ways. Boni had been obstructed to construct the Durga statue also.

And as a result he and his wife again had to fall in stiff financial crisis. Even, Boni was beaten in his locality one evening. And nobody could come forward to help him. This former footballer tried to meet state chief minister Mamata Banerjee desperately to recover from poverty. But he could not meet the CM.

Now, Boni is finally going to receive his due. A documentary film on Bandana and her transformation to Bani and his struggle has been made.

The film will be shown in the forthcoming Kolkata Film Festival. Boni will not only receive recognition, but he is also going to get handsome money too.

Boni when asked about his reaction, only said, "I will not tell anything now. First let me leave the place where I have been assaulted so many times. Then I will speak."

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